MindTouch wanted a new way to reach out to customers to participate in what was their Early Access Program (EAP). The existing program had few participants making real-world beta testing difficult. The new program was branded MindTouch Labs.
To encourage people to sign up, and create excitement around the program, we used a guerilla-marketing approach that went beyond emails to customers. As a play on the term “Labs,” we created a fictional character who would represent old-style science and lab investigations: Dr. Lord Caruthers Antwistle III, Chief Researcher for the Ministry of Science at MindTouch Labs. Luckily, our actor was the Director of Customer Success, so all the work could be done in-house.
Dr. Caruthers had his own Twitter feed. We used Dr. Caruthers in a series of video snippets and animated gifs, largely non-informational non-sequitors, that were placed on social media to generate curiosity. There was a countdown to launch posted on the MindTouch Labs web page prior to Dr. Caruther’s personal appearance at Dreamforce 2016.
Visual themes included anachronistic imagery such as Polaroid photos, noisy VHS tape video effects, and free public domain archival footage from science labs in the mid-20th Century.
Once launched, MindTouch Labs generated more customer inquiries and participation in the program in one day than in the prior two years of the old EAP program. And, we got some praise on Twitter as well!